By EM RUSCIANO
I like to think I cartwheel on the line of friend and parent.
Yes, I want to be BFFs with my kids.
That sound you may be hearing is the alarm going off at Dr Phil’s solid gold Texas mansion – as we speak he is racing to his diamond encrusted Bentley to report me to Oprah. I’m expecting a call from his producers at any tick of the clock. I’ll be invited on his show where I’ll perch atop one of those ridiculously high chairs while he yells “If someone disagrees with me, then somewhere, a village is missing their idiot”! – Good one Dr Phil.
What I’m saying is, most experts disagree with me. Most experts feel you shouldn’t be pals with your kid. You may also disagree with me to, but that’s ok, I still like you.
My eldest daughter is on the precipice of puberty. I have gone from living with a smiley, enthusiastic, agreeable child to co-habitating with a small, moody, eye-rolling politician. Everything must be justified and negotiated, there is a fair bit of huffing and puffing going on as well.
Up until this year we have been best buddies who agree on pretty much everything and knew how to compromise on the issues we disagreed on. I had her quite young so I guess we’ve grown up together.
I remember how intense my teenage years were, do you? Remember how you felt every thing eleventy thousand times more than the adults in your life did? I was reminded of this recently, when One Direction changed their concert dates from midyear to around the time of the end of year exams. Young girls all over Australia were absolutely desolate, with one fan tweeting: “Two whole years come down to 5 exams. If 1D come and therefore distract us WHAT IF WE FAIL? No uni, no future.”
Dramatic? Maybe, but man I miss feeling that passionately about everything. Don’t you? I mean you can take the excess body hair (I am an Italian woman) and back acne but the unbridled all consuming zeal for the things I use to love as a teen (which included but were not limited to Kevin Arnold from the Wonder Years, Jason Preistly from 90210 and Degrassi Jnr High), I miss.
The truth is, I still feel acutely connected to how difficult it was being 11-17 years old. I think some parents forget how they felt because they are trying so hard to steer their child down the “right” path.